Rising eggs costs passed on to local restaurants and customers
New state regulations and the avian flu are causing egg prices to soar across the state, forcing some local restaurants to raise the prices of their egg-based items to cover their own costs.
Following passage of a new state law in 2020, Colorado egg producers who have more than 3,000 laying hens are required to provide a ratio of one square foot per hen as of Jan. 1.
The intent behind the legislation is to phase egg production into being fully cage-free by 2025, but the new requirements are also increasing operating costs for suppliers and that’s being passed on to consumers.
Coupled with the new state law, the Colorado Department of Agriculture detected an outbreak of the avian flu in Colorado this fall, affecting millions of commercial laying hens on the Front Range and more across the country.
As a result of the acute egg shortages and rising costs, some local restaurants whose menus rely heavily on eggs, which have tripled in price since last year, have had to make adjustments.
Prodigal Son’s Coffee House announced early in the week that some of its menu prices would be increasing, and KS Kreations downtown bakery had price increases on its breakfast menu as well.
Adam Bolton, owner of Prodigal Son’s, said the menu items that require one egg aren’t a big deal, but that’s not the case for dishes made mostly of eggs, such as the breakfast bomb or the quiche.
The price of the quiche went up $1, and the breakfast bombs went up 50 cents each. Bolton said the price increases only cover the increased cost of the ingredients and don’t equate to any extra profits for the business.
“I’m not raising the costs for myself,” Bolton said. “I’m raising the cost to account for the increased cost on our supply end. It’s a justifiable increase.”
Bolton said that customers have been nothing but kind about the price changes and no one has complained.
This week a case of 60 eggs at Walmart was priced at $28.70, dozens were marked at $7.54 and the eggs shelves were nearly bare by mid-week. The commercial food suppliers are charging approximately $105 for a box of 15 dozen eggs, while the same amount of eggs cost $35 last year.
For some small businesses, it may be cheaper to purchase eggs through local grocery stores, but for Prodigal Son’s and KS Kreations, there are benefits of ordering directly from a supplier, such as having items delivered directly to the shop.
KS Kreations, the family-owned bakery at 523 Yampa Ave. in Craig, has seen a 50-cent increase on its breakfast menu items including breakfast burritos, breakfast quesadillas and breakfast sandwiches.
Kandee Dilldine, who co-owns KS Kreations with her daughter Kassie Vesely, said the only breakfast items not affected by the rising cost of eggs are the biscuits and gravy and some of the pastries that don’t use eggs, such as the pumpkin muffins.
In addition to serving a daily breakfast and lunch menu, the bakery also specializes in pre-order cakes and catering, and pretty much across the board, KS Kreations has experienced rising costs for ingredients and supply chain issues.
According to Vesely, the cost of butter, flour and eggs have all risen over the past year. There was also a period this fall where KS Kreations couldn’t get any eggs from its supplier and had to purchase them elsewhere. There have been other times the bakery couldn’t get supplies like brown sugar or graham cracker crumbs.
The duo had to raise catering rates last year, primarily due to a rise in the cost of proteins, particularly salmon and prime rib, which are typically priced at market rate to allow for cost fluctuations.
Despite some of the supply challenges, business for the bakery and catering continues to grow. Dilldine said she doesn’t know what to attribute that to.
“It might be more people in town or because Village Inn isn’t in town anymore,” Dilldine said. “But most people still don’t know we do breakfast.”
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